The top 5 stop-off points along The Ghan railway route for travellers over 60

The top 5 stop-over points on the ghan

The Ghan railway journey is one of the most iconic train trips in Australia and the rest of the world. What makes this route particularly interesting is the history that surrounds the journey, which takes place in the heart of Australia.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, more than 2,000 cameleers from modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and around 20,000 camels, came to Australia to provide a method of transportation that could withstand the incredibly harsh conditions of the Australian outback.

Read more: Check The Ghan off your bucket list here

Where other animals, like horses, died because of the heat and lack of water, the camels survived and provided a way to transport materials and also explore remote areas of the centre of the country. The Afghan men were instrumental in proving goods to remote communities, but it was incredibly tough work and they were later unable to bring their families with them to Australia due to restrictions and the White Australia Policy. 

The 2,979kms of railway tracks, which took close to 50 years to build, now takes just a two-days journey to complete, and it’s the unique history surrounding the journey that makes it truly special.

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Here are five stop-off points along The Ghan railway route that you simply cannot miss.

1. Darwin

Cyrstal clear water in the first pool after Vegetation Pool on the climb up to Koolpin #kakadu

A photo posted by Aeriaphotographer (@aerialphotographer) on

The Ghan journey begins at the Darwin Rail Station, but if you have the time to explore Darwin for a few days before you jump aboard, it’s well worth it. After you spend some time taking in the view of Mindil Beach and the markets, head out to Kakadu National Park and take a tour of the Nourlangie Rock and take in the ancient rock art created by the local indigenous communities.

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2. Katherine

As you make your way down to Alice Springs you’ll make a stopover in Katherine and you simply cannot miss Nitmiluk, or Katherine Gorge. Don’t forget to bring your swimmers, because during the winter the rangers remove any crocodiles from the area so it is safe for swimming. There are also walking tracks, kayaking activities and the opportunity to hear some indigenous storytelling, too.

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3. Alice Springs

On the road to Alice Springs end of the day. Because of few oxygen most of fish in died. #remoteaustralia #alicesprings #outbackaustralia

A photo posted by Aboriginal Signature Estrangin (@aboriginal_signature) on

The remote town of Alice Springs is worth exploring on foot, so be sure to take a look at how the locals live, perhaps you can try your hand at making some traditional damper, but this is also where you can catch a glimpse of the iconic Ayers Rock.

4. Coober Pedy

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Coober Pedy is known for being the world’s best opal producers, but it’s not just this colourful stone that brings people to the small town. Because of the extreme heat, must of the town is actually located underground. People actually because to build their houses underground to escape to heat.

5. Adelaide

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Adelaide may be the last stop of your Ghan railway journey, but there is much to see in the beautiful city. As the train comes into South Australia, you’ll see a dramatic change in landscape with bright greens blanketing the fields extending out to the horizon. If you wish to extend your stay in the region, then a trip to the Barossa Valley, Kangaroo Island, Glenelg and the CBD are a must.

Have you been on The Ghan? What stop-off points would you recommend exploring? Let us know in the comments section below.

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